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News Around Illinois – July 9, 2020

The latest news around the state, for July 9, 2020.

Illinois Driver Services Expirations Extended Until Nov. 1

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Expiration dates for driver’s licenses, identification cards and license plate stickers have been extended one more month to Nov. 1, Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced Wednesday. Expired documents will remain valid so customers need not need rush into state Driver Services offices, especially during the current heat wave, White said. The extension also covers those who have July, August and September expiration dates. – Associated Press

Recount Underway In 2018 Macon Country Sheriff Election

DECATUR, Ill. (AP) — Ballots from an Illinois sheriff election are being recounted — 20 months later. Tony Brown has been serving as Macon County sheriff after defeating Jim Root, a Republican, by one vote out of nearly 40,000 cast in 2018. The recount started Tuesday and could last weeks. It was ordered by a judge as a compromise agreed to by both candidates after Root filed a legal challenge to the result, the Herald & Review reported. – Associated Press

Illinois Gov. Pritzker Rails Against Trump Administration’s ‘Sick ‘Hunger Games’ ’ During COVID-19 Pandemic

Testifying before a Congressional panel, Democratic Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday called for a national mandate that everyone wear a face covering while in public as part of a broader federal strategy to help stem the spread of COVID-19. In continuing his criticism of Republican President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Pritzker presented a five-point national strategy in his testimony before the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security on Examining the National Response to the Worsening Coronavirus Pandemic. – Tony Arnold – WBEZ

Lightfoot To Trump: States And Cities Should Decide When And How To Reopen Schools

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot blasted President Donald Trump today for demanding schools open for in-person instruction in the fall. “It’s ironic because typically Republicans talk about states’ rights and localized control, but here’s one where the president’s trying to mandate from Washington, D.C. what the conditions should be on the ground across the country,” Lightfoot said. “That doesn’t make any sense.” Lightfoot said the president’s push eliminates the option of using a hybrid model in the fall that mixes in-person and online instruction. The mayor’s comments came as the president fired off two tweets Wednesday morning calling the CDC’s new guidelines for reopening schools “very tough & expensive.” Vice President Mike Pence said Wednesday the CDC would be revising its guidelines to schools. – Becky Vevea – WBEZ

Public Libraries Plan Reopening As Pandemic Restrictions Loosen

Public libraries are working to open up their facilities to the public again, even as they expand their offerings online. When Governor J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order went into effect mid-March, most businesses and nonprofits temporarily shut down. Jen Barton, the director of Genoa Public Library, said there wasn’t any specific guidance in the order for libraries. Now, libraries are planning the reopening of their buildings to the public. DeKalb Library has already opened. Though they’ve had to shut down some areas, such as specialized reading rooms, they can still offer access to computers and other in-library services that involve fewer people. That includes browsing the shelves. – Chase Cavanaugh – WNIJ

Southern Seven Health Department Reports 50% Drop In Child Vaccinations

The CDC reports during the COVID-19 pandemic routine childhood vaccinations have declined. Southern Seven Health Department operates clinics in the lower seven counties in Illinois. During the last few months the clinics have seen a 50% drop in childhood vaccinations during Illinois’ stay at home order. The CDC says it’s important to stay up to date especially during this pandemic because the recommended vaccines give protection from 16 diseases. Southern Seven Public Information Officer Shawnna Rhine says the level of vaccination coverage needs to be above 90% for population immunity. – Benjy Jeffords – WUIS

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